This page details the range of community-based disposals that are available to the courts and which enable the child or young person to remain in their community.
Allows the child or young person time to demonstrate good behaviour or voluntarily engage with services prior to determining sentence. This could result in the child or young person being admonished.
Structured deferred sentence
- Requires the child or young person to engage with interventions that address the causes of their offending behaviour
- Engagement with these interventions will inform the court’s decision on the eventual sentence – this could result in the child or young person being admonished
- Duration – generally 3–6 months
Fine or compensation order
The child or young person must pay compensation or a fine.
Drug Treatment and Testing Order
- The Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) requires compliance with an intensive drug treatment and testing programme
- Progress is regularly reviewed by the court
- The DTTO will specify at least one treatment provider and how compliance is to be tested
- It may include group work programmes
- It will almost certainly include provisions for social care, after care and support
- A remote monitoring condition may require that the person remain at or away from a certain place at specified hours
- A DTTO may be served on a person over 16 who is ‘dependant on or has propensity to misuse drugs, and the dependency or propensity requires and may be susceptible to treatment, and the offender is a suitable person to be subject to an order’ (as detailed in sections 89-95 Crime and Disorder Act 1998); where electronic monitoring can be used (section 47 Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003)
- The child or young person must consent to the order being made
Six months to three years.
- Committal of a further offence or failure to attend testing or treatment do not automatically constitute a breach of the DTTO
- Failure to attend court for reviews or attempts to interfere with the integrity of tests do constitute breaches of the DTTO
- Information on breach proceedings can be found in DTTOs Guidance 2011
Restriction of Liberty Order (RLOs)
Under Section 245A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 as inserted by Section 5 of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 and amended by sections 43 and 50(3) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 or Section 245A (11) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 as amended by section 121 of the AntiSocial Behaviour etc.(Scotland) Act 2004, a court can impose a Restriction of Liberty Order (RLO) on a child or young person (including those aged under 16).
- An RLO is a direct alternative to custody and provide an opportunity to disrupt a pattern of behaviour that contributes to involvement in offending
- Restricts the movements of the child or young person by imposing time and locational limits as by an electronic tag
- The child or young person can be restricted to a particular place for up to 12 hours a day for a period of up to 12 months, or restricted away from a specified place for up to 24 hours a day
- The child or young person must consent to the RLO
- An RLO can be imposed as a standalone order or concurrent with a CPO, however consideration must be given to how any identified needs will be addressed or change sustained with a standalone order which would not be recommended, particularly for under 18s
- Consideration as to the impact of the RLO on anyone the individual lives with is crucial as it can create additional strain on relationships and supports may be required to manage these situations
Breaches and compliance
- Information on breach and compliance can be found in the Scottish Government Electronic Monitoring Interim Guidance
Community Payback Order
Under section 14 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 a Community Payback Order (CPO) may impose one or more of the following requirements:
- Offender supervision
- Unpaid work or other activity
- Level 1: 20–100 hours within three months
- Level 2: 101–300 hours within six months
(other Activity (which can be up to 30% of the number of specified hours on the requirement, or 30 hours, whichever is lower) allows the child or young person to undertake activities to develop their interpersonal, educational, and vocational skills to support long-term desistance, with the exact number of ‘other activity’ hours to be determined by the case manager)
- Programme requirement (individual or group work)
- Residence requirement (specifies where the person is to reside or places they may not visit)
- Mental health treatment (distinct from mental health orders)
- Drug treatment (distinct from a DTTO)
- Alcohol treatment
- Conduct (person must refrain from certain actions)
- Minimum age is 12 (see committal of an offence for information on age of criminal responsibility and prosecution)
- Unpaid work requirement: minimum age 16
- For under 18s an offender supervision requirement must be part of the CPO
- The child or young person must consent to the order and each of the requirements
- The CPO can be imposed alongside another order
Six months to three years.
- The supervising officer will meet with the person within five working days of the order being imposed
- Unpaid work or other activity requirements should commence within seven working days
- More specific information (including in respect of young people) can be found in CPO Practice Guidance 2019
Breaches and compliance
- Complying with a CPO is extremely important, with completion rates particularly low for children and young people aged under 18. It is therefore important that barriers to successful compliance are reduced and full explanations are given of the requirements of all such orders and the cost of non-compliance
- Breach of a CPO can result in a child or young person being made subject to a Restricted Movement Requirement (RMR), which must also have a CPO offender supervision requirement running alongside this
- Information on breach proceedings can be found in CPO Practice Guidance 2019
Remittal to Children’s Hearings System (CHS) for disposal
Should a judge or sheriff decide to remit a case back to the CHS for disposal possible outcomes include:
- Discharge of the case – no further action
- Interim Compulsory Supervision Order (section 86 Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011)
- Compulsory Supervision Order (section 83 Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011) which can include a Movement Restriction Condition, requiring the child to remain at a specified location for up to 12 hours per day, monitored by an electronic tag
National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System 2010
These standards provide a framework for criminal justice social work practice, including guidance on:
- Responsibilities of case managers
- Immediacy and intensity of contact
- Managing compliance
- Principles that should underpin interventions
Third Sector organisations
The support services offered as Community-based disposals may be provided by third sector organisations. These organisations may also be involved in providing court reports.
Resources for this page
- Anti-Social Behaviour etc.(Scotland) Act 2004
- Crime and Disorder Act 1998
- Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997
- Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
- Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003
- Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010
- Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
- Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ). (2017). Community Payback Orders – Use of unpaid work or other activity. Glasgow: CYCJ.
- Graham, H. and McIvor, G. (2017). Electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system. Glasgow: IRISS.
- Robinson, G., and McNeill, F., (2008) Exploring the dynamics of compliance with community penalties. Theoretical Criminology 12 (4): 431-449.
- Sapouna, M., Bisset, C., Conlong, A. and Matthews, B. (2015). What Works to Reduce Reoffending: A Summary of the Evidence. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2010). National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System Criminal: Justice Social Work Reports and Court-Based Services Practice Guidance. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2019). Community Payback Orders Practice Guidance. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2010). National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2011). Drug Treatment and Testing Orders Guidance for Schemes. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2014). Intensive Support and Monitoring System: Guidance on the use of Movement Restriction Conditions (MRCs) in the Children’s Hearings System (CHS). Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2015). Evaluation of Community Payback Orders, Criminal Justice Social Work Reports and the Presumption Against Short Sentences. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (ND). Electronic Monitoring Interim Guidance. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Simpson, S. and Dyer, F. (2016). Movement Restriction Conditions (MRCs) and Youth Justice In Scotland: Are we there yet? Glasgow: CYCJ.
- Ugwudike, P. and Raynor, P. (eds). (2013). What works in offender compliance: International perspectives and evidence-based practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Vanhaelemeesch, D. (2018). Virtual punishment: the experiences of electronic monitoring. Edinburgh: Families Outside.
- Weaver, B. and Barry, M. (2014). Managing High risk Offenders in the Community: Compliance, Cooperation and Consent in a Culture of Concern. European Journal of Probation 6 (3): 278–295.